OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) – Officials have ordered residents near the Oroville Dam in Northern California to evacuate the area, saying a “hazardous situation is developing” after an emergency spillway severely eroded.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office says the emergency spillway could fail soon, unleashing uncontrolled flood waters from Lake Oroville.
The department says people in downstream areas need to leave the area immediately.
Authorities in Yuba County are asking people living in the valley floor to evacuate.
The California Department of Water Resources says it’s releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway to try to drain the lake.
Water began flowing over the emergency spillway at the dam on Saturday for the first time in its nearly 50-year history after heavy rainfall.